Documentary Project: Bespoke

Bespoke – Documentary By Michael Firus (Extended Cut) from Michael Firus on Vimeo.

The small-scale yet intricate pursuits of  humanity interest me greatly; those art forms which seem concentrated and distilled.

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My fascination with jewelry left little doubt that I would need to make this documentary my next project. This image and the ones that follow are isolated frames  from the footage I shot during the course of filming.

Never one to attend a ball without something special for my companion, a great interest in gems and precious metals began to form over time. Through my repeated purchases, I began to become quite well versed in the many things to consider when appraising the qualities of jewellery and its constituent complements: metals and precious stones. As is often the case with knowledge, appreciation soon followed.

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One of the introductory shots: it begins with fire…

So after some thought, I decided that my next window of free time would be filled creating a short documentary on  a creator of such works of art.

Since it is sadly the case that even authentic jewellery is often mass produced, I decided to seek out a bespoke crafts-person; someone who could show my cameras and I the entire process from raw elements  to  finished product. After some research,  I  came across Emily Becher, a creator of custom designed and fitted jewelry.

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Throughout the melting process, I began to be aware of a vortex formation within the tiny crucible; something I was determined to capture on film for its sheer sculptural beauty.

Inherent to its subject matter, I knew this project would involve a lot of macro cinematography –  something I make use of frequently. This side of cinematography is so appealing, not because it’s easy (it’s very fiddly)  but because our eyes are used to a fundamentally different way of seeing the world – they are by nature wide-angle. So in my quest to bring to my audience something of interest – something they may have never seen before – I often call upon the services of macro cinematography, simply because its so different to how we see the word on a daily basis. It is also subtle nod to narrative cinemas ‘look closer’  trope.

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I utilized a high frame rate in order to make the fleeting moment of the pour more significant and contemplative.
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Using the 150mm at f2.8 and an extension tube gave a beautifully shallow yet workable depth of field. Here the ingot is hammered repeatedly to improve its crystalline structure.
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One of the most extreme examples of macro cinematography was in this shot, in which the three hallmark punches were shown

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150mm
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12mm

However, I also aimed to create a satisfying counter to such focused in close shots. For this reason, I regularly alternated between a macro lens at 150mm and wide angle lens: 12mm (on a super 35mm sensor). I did this so the ‘bigger picture’ could be witnessed; the workshops warm complexity and gentrified architecture.

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My Cinematographic and directorial Showreel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OyxLTypr1BA

My Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/michael.firus/?hl=en

My YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJKcsmRGEQ9_5GGdJBuz_-A

My Vimeo Channel: https://vimeo.com/user26828385

My Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100006013428912

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